Alicia Philipp has led the Foundation’s grantmaking, fundraising and collaboration with donors, nonprofits and community leaders for almost 40 years. Under her leadership, the Community Foundation has grown from $7 million in 1977 to more than $919.8 million today. Philipp’s local, regional and national leadership responsibilities include previous service as a board member of the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, Independent Sector and the National Center on Family Philanthropy. Honors received include being named to Georgia Trend’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” list, one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, the ninth most powerful Atlantan by Atlanta magazine and one of 175 “Emory History Makers” by Emory University. Philipp received a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and her MBA from Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur and has two adult children, both of whom live in Europe.
Vice President, Philanthropy
As vice president of philanthropy, Mendal Bouknight holds ultimate accountability for asset growth and donor satisfaction. Through cultivating, nurturing and building the Foundation’s philanthropic reach via donors and professional advisors, Mendal and his team harvest the goals of the Foundation’s strategic plan for greater Atlanta to prosper through philanthropy. Mendal joins the Foundation in August 2016 after serving as president of the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation for 12 years, where he led a team of that grew philanthropic giving from $3.3 million annually to more than $13 million annually in 2015. Prior to Piedmont, Mendal held positions of increasing responsibility and scope leading development offices for Clemson University and the Woodruff Health Sciences Center at Emory.
Diana Champ Davis
Vice President, Capacity and Chief Financial Officer
Diana Champ Davis oversees all of the financial and operational components of the Foundation, with a focus on strategic management of the organization’s resources to maximize return on investment. Diana, who is a CPA, joined the Community Foundation in 2016, bringing a decade of executive financial leadership in nonprofit organizations, as well as 10 years of prior experience in management consulting and for-profit corporate accounting and finance. The Georgia State graduate enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with her husband, Michael, and their two springer spaniels, Cowboy and Scout.
Senior Vice President, Community
Lesley Grady oversees the community impact work of the Foundation, including grantmaking, scholarships as well as multiple community initiatives, connecting this work with foundation donors and their passions. Lesley has 25 years’ experience creating strategic partnerships to stimulate community and economic growth. Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as an independent contractor providing strategic planning, training and community programming for corporations, nonprofit organizations and governmental entities. She holds a master’s in public policy from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s in English from LaSalle University.
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Elyse Hammett oversees all marketing and public relations efforts of the organization, focusing on strategic marketing and communications initiatives for key internal and external audiences. A universally accredited PR professional, Elyse leverages more than 20 years of public relations and marketing communications experience, from her tenures at Emory Healthcare, BellSouth and her own PR agency, Eos. She’s won numerous awards from the American Hospital Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America (including its 2014 Georgia Luminary Star Award), and the National Telecom Marketing Association. Elyse serves on the board of PRSA Georgia, and will be its president in 2017.
Natasha Battle-Edwards is responsible overseeing competitive grants and scholarship administration, as well as fund management for community initiatives and grantee relations for the Foundation. Natasha sits on the Grants Managers Network Southeast Committee, the focus of which is to improve philanthropy by leading the field of grants management to achieve efficient and effective grantmaking. Natasha holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University.
Lisa Cremin oversees a comprehensive program that serves arts organizations and under her leadership, the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund has directly supported more than 100 arts organizations across the Atlanta area. Lisa previously worked at Christie’s International and the Weston Gallery, and created visual arts programs for both the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Games in partnership with corporate sponsors. In 2014 she was named the YWCA Woman of Achievement, she has also received Nexus Award of the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center. Atlanta Magazine identified her in 2005 as one of “25 Power Women to Watch” and in 2011 as one of “Five for the Future.” Lisa is a graduate of Hamilton College.
Valerie Cox manages multiple grant programs including initiatives surrounding community development and education. Before joining the Community Foundation, Valerie worked at The Home Depot Foundation overseeing territory-specific corporate volunteerism and grantmaking. She received her bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Stetson University and her MBA from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. She is a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2016 and is an AmeriCorps alumni. Valerie lives in Brookhaven with her husband.
Jami Edwards is primarily responsible for supporting the administration of the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship program. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jami was a Housing Processor for Georgia Department of Community Affairs. She collected completed applications, processed and accumulated documentation to substantiate assistance subsidies while determining eligibility of applicants. A native of Madison, Georgia, Jami received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emory University. She lives in Atlanta and enjoys volunteering, as well as pinning DIY projects to her Pinterest boards.
Lauren Jeong works on multiple grantmaking projects and initiatives, primarily focusing on the Brumley-GRAD scholarship and competitive scholarships. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Lauren worked at Foundation Center, where she was responsible for marketing, fundraising and programming for young nonprofits. Lauren also held internships with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and Prevent Child Abuse Georgia. Lauren currently serves as board chair of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Atlanta. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Public Policy from Georgia State University. In her free time, Lauren enjoys baking, walking the Beltline and yoga.
Mindy Kao works on administering the Community Foundation’s Neighborhood Fund, the Love Your Block Grant, the Civic Engagement Fund and other community development-related grantmaking projects. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Mindy worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Georgia Tech’s Office of Leadership Education and Development. A native of the metro Atlanta area, Mindy attended Georgia Tech, receiving a Bachelor of Science and Master of City and Regional Planning degrees. In her free time, Mindy enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new food and music and exploring Atlanta’s unique neighborhoods. She currently resides in Ormewood Park.
Jonathan Katz administers several competitive grantmaking programs, including the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund and A Place to Perform, and builds relationships with new and prospective donors to the Community Foundation. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Jonathan worked in nonprofit fundraising and development, most recently for the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He also works as a freelance writer focusing on the culture of food and drink. Jonathan is a graduate of Skidmore College with a degree in English. When he’s not in the office, you can usually find him riding his road bike on the Beltline trail.
Allyssa Kiser is responsible for competitive and donor advised grantmaking, data entry and reporting in Foundation Information Management System (FIMS) database and other various tools. Allyssa brings more than 15 years of administrative experience to the Community Foundation, with a specialization in organization and information management. Allyssa holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from American InterContinental University.
Kristina Morris serves on multiple grantmaking programs and manages the Foundation’s Scholarships program and donor reports process. Previously, she interned at the Southeastern Council of Foundations and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation and worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. Kristina received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and women’s studies from Emory University, and her MBA from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. She is an alumnus of Leadership Buckhead, a 2012 Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellow and a 2016 Education Policy Fellow, a program of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education.
Public Policy Specialist
Kathy Palumbo is responsible for oversight of several grant programs including AIDS Fund, Civic Engagement Fund and scholarships, as well as management of our Community Development Impact and Well-being Impact Areas. She is a member of United Way’s Health Leaders Advisory Council, the policy committee for the Georgia Grantmakers Alliance, a board member of Funders Concerned About AIDS, the Advisory Board for the School of Social Work at Georgia State University and the Editorial Board of The Foundation Review. Kathy has a doctorate from Emory University, a master’s from Case Western Reserve University and a degree from the College of Wooster in Ohio.
Lita Ugarte Pardi
Director, Resource Deployment
Lita Pardi manages the Resource Deployment team, which designs, implements and assesses the effectiveness and impact of the Foundation’s competitive grants and scholarship programs. Lita leads the Foundation’s efforts to strengthen the region’s nonprofits through the Nonprofit Effectiveness portfolio and has deep knowledge on succession planning and executive transitions. She participated in the 2013 Council on Foundations Career Pathways program, Leadership Atlanta’s 2007 LEAD Atlanta class and the Southeastern Council of Foundations 2004 Hull Fellows Program. Originally from Peru, Lita received her undergraduate degree from Berry College. Lita lives in Marietta with her husband and their two sons.
Executive Assistant/Manager of Volunteer Engagement
Sherrie Woods is responsible for the day-to-day office operations and oversight of the Community team. She provides administrative support, manages new staff orientation, maintains the Community Partnerships volunteer database and has responsibilities for grants administration and community initiatives and projects. Sherrie holds a Bachelor of Science in technology management from Clayton State University and an associate degree in computer science from Columbus State University. She intends to earn a master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University.
Hannah is the administrative assistant for the Community team. She is responsible for supporting the Resource Deployment team and multiple programs, including the Foundation’s General Operating Support grantmaking, the Strategic Restructuring Fund and the Nonprofit Toolbox. Prior to joining the Community Foundation, Hannah worked as a project manager. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Georgia. Originally from Charlotte, NC, she now lives in Buckhead and enjoys spending time with her friends, running and cheering on the Dawgs!
Finance & Operations
Belinda Brady leads the oversight and administration of the Foundation’s investment programs. She collaborates with the Foundation’s leadership and investment committee to set and implement investment priorities and strategy. Before joining the Foundation, Belinda held senior investment leadership positions at both The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises (“CCE”). She led the global retirement plan investment function of Treasury at CCE for over 20 years.
Prior to CCE, Belinda was an equity portfolio manager at Trusco Capital
Management. Belinda received a JD from Emory University and BA from Wright State University.
Belinda was a founding member of the Atlanta International School’s Investment Committee. She lives in Buckhead.
Executive Assistant to the President
Latasha Brown is responsible for providing full administrative support to the president as well as supporting assignments associated with the Board of Directors. Latasha brings more than 15 years of experience in the philanthropic sector to the Foundation. She began her career at the Ford Foundation and went on to work at the Edward Hazen Foundation and, in 1998, returned to the Ford Foundation as a full-time staff member working in the Program Related Investment Unit. Latasha lives in Lithonia with her three daughters. She enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and traveling.
Director, Human Resources
VaTonya Brown leads the Human Resources function for the Foundation. In this role, VaTonya assists senior leadership with developing strategies in the focus areas of talent management, culture/change management, performance management and compensation and benefits that result in best in-class organizational effectiveness and performance. VaTonya holds senior Human Resources certifications from both the Society for Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Certification Institute, and joined the Community Foundation in September 2016. A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, VaTonya brings over 15 years of human resources experience in both for profit and nonprofit organizations, and enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.
Chris de Lastic
Chief Accounting Officer
Chris de Lastic is responsible for managing the Foundation’s accounting, budgeting, tax, human resources, information management and general operations. Chris came to the Foundation after serving at FTI Consulting and Ernst & Young’s financial services office in New York City. Chris graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University, where he received his B.B.A. in accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Chris and his family live in Cabbagetown.
Front Office Receptionist
Beverly Fooks is the face and voice of the Community Foundation and is responsible for receiving and directing all calls and inquiries, assisting all visitors of the Community Foundation and supporting various administrative needs of Finance and Operations. Before joining the Community Foundation Beverly served more than a decade at Emory University as an administrative assistant to several high-level executives. Beverly is actively involved in her church, enjoys theatre, live concerts, art exhibits, entertaining family and friends and relaxing at home with husband and two sweet dogs.
Accounts Payable Clerk
Juanita Gaynor is responsible for ensuring the accurate and timely processing of all invoice and grant disbursements. Juanita has worked in the corporate and nonprofit sectors and has several years of experience in various accounting functions. Juanita received an associate degree in business administration from Eastern Nazarene College, an associate degree in accounting from Atlanta Technical College and is currently seeking her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Georgia State University. Juanita enjoys reading, music and cooking.
Brian Graham is responsible for coordinating the Foundation’s accounting functions by ensuring accurate and timely general ledger activity, period closings and account reconciliations. Brian came to the Foundation after serving at Mosaica Education, Inc., where he provided financial management and oversight to independent charter schools across the U.S., U.K. and India. Originally from North Carolina, Brian received his B.S. in accounting from North Carolina A&T State University and his master’s in accounting from the University of Virginia. He enjoys playing golf and lives in Douglasville with his wife and their three daughters.
Kimano Harris is responsible for processing all financial outflows of the Foundation in a manner that ensures proper financial controls are maintained, including operating expense, grant and scholarship payments. Kimano has worked both in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors in various accounting positions and comes to the Foundation with a wealth of knowledge and experience in accounting. Kimano received a bachelor’s degree from Beulah Heights University, an associate degree in accounting from DeKalb College, majored in accounting at DeVry and is an MBA candidate at Colorado Technical University. Kimano also enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her husband and family.
Database and Analytics Manager
Mitch Hollberg is responsible for leading the Foundation’s enterprise information management efforts encompassing data governance, database administration, reporting and analysis. Prior to joining the Foundation Mitch was reporting and operations manager for Hewlett-Packard’s IT mergers and acquisitions group, and he worked in various financial reporting and IT management capacities at Accenture, ExxonMobil and Borders Bookstores. Mitch received bachelor’s degrees in mechanical engineering and economics from Rice University, and an MBA with High Distinction from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. An Atlanta native, Mitch lives in Kirkwood with his wife and two sons.
Cedric Smith is responsible for the monthly reconciliation of all Foundation bank accounts and investment activity. He prepares and reviews various budget reports in addition to preparing and distributing vendor 1099s. He also assists with the Foundation’s annual financial statement audit. Before joining the Foundation Cedric worked for five years as an accountant at Sadie G. Mays Health and Rehabilitation Center in southwest Atlanta. A native Atlantan, Cedric earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hampton University in Virginia.
Director, Operational Strategy
Megan Swett is responsible for the leadership and management of the Community Foundation’s data, analytics, IT, operations and facilities functions, as well as special projects involving organizational strategic planning and operational alignment. Megan previously worked with the Central Florida Foundation and the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina in various roles. Megan graduated from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in human studies. She currently lives in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur with her wife, Amanda, and daughter Adeline.
Ikepo Talabi is responsible for keeping accurate and timely records for Foundation investment accounts, including investment balances and activity, cash management analysis for distribution of assets and capital calls. Ikepo came to the Foundation from London, and she is currently the financial secretary of the North American chapter of her alma mater, Olabisi Onabanjo University. She earned a graduate certificate in financial analysis and holds a master’s in accounting and financial management, both from Keller Graduate School of Management. In her free time she loves sewing and lives in Powder Springs with her husband and three beautiful children.
Marketing & Communications
Special Events Coordinator
Kasey Brinson manages the planning and coordination for the Community Foundation’s special events held for donors, nonprofits and the community at large, with the goal of creating memorable experiences that make a positive impact on attendees and the constituents the Foundation serves. She joined the Foundation with more than eight years’ experience in event planning and production, marketing, social media and brand management, fundraising and community building. She has managed events ranging from six to 6,000 participants for the City of Atlanta, local nonprofits and for an event-management firm. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Kasey received a BBA from Samford University.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Erin Dreiling is responsible for management of all aspects of marketing and communications for the Community Foundation, with a focus on brand strategy, digital and print marketing, social media and relationship development. Before joining the Community Foundation, Erin worked in nonprofit administration and fundraising with several local arts organizations including the Alliance Theatre, the Center for Puppetry Arts and Actor’s Express. She holds a degree in fine and performing arts from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Erin lives in East Atlanta with her husband, Jake, and their two sons.
Carolina Endara is responsible for handling all of the administrative duties of the Marketing and Communications team including photography, budget processing and detail tracking, assisting with publications and collateral, content development, website and social media implementation. Carolina received her bachelor’s degree in mass media arts with a minor in film studies from the University of Georgia. Born in Ecuador, Carolina lived in her home country until she was about eight years old. She and her family then moved to Georgia, and she has been living near Atlanta ever since.
Public Relations Manager
Louise Mulherin is responsible for driving awareness of the Community Foundation’s programs, products, services and stories for its various constituents in the public sphere. A veteran communications professional, she previously ran her own consulting practice, working with clients in industries including banking, commercial real estate, food service, manufacturing, nonprofit, payment processing/security and retail. A Savannah native, Louise holds a B.A. from Boston College and a Master of Mass Communication from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Louise serves on the board of PRSA Georgia, she and her husband, Jeff Culley, live in Piedmont Heights.
Erin Drury Boorn
Senior Philanthropic Advisor
Erin Drury Boorn works with a portfolio of donor-advised funds, helping individuals and families develop their personal philanthropy. Erin works closely with the Waterfall Foundation and serves on their board. Prior to joining the Community Foundation Erin worked for the Woodruff and Whitehead Foundations. Erin was a Hull Fellow with the Southeastern Council of Foundations in 2006. She is a graduate of Berry College and holds a master’s from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. She is trained in meeting facilitation and is a CAP® Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy.
Director, Gift Planning
Christy Butler Eckoff is responsible for the Foundation’s comprehensive planned and major giving programs. Previously, Christy served as senior director of gift planning at Georgia State University. She is president-elect of the Georgia Planned Giving Council, past-president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Greater Atlanta chapter and a member of the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, North Carolina bar and the Junior League of Atlanta. Christy graduated from Duke University, earned her J.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and LL.M. in Taxation at the University of Washington. Christy is a CFRE Certified Fundraising Executive and a CAP® Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy.
Gift Planning Officer
Ali Gant works with professional advisors to envision and maximize the philanthropic legacy of clients and donors. Prior to joining the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Ali worked with Mercy Care Foundation, The Westminster Schools and The University of Georgia. Ali holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Public Administration from UGA. She is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta and the Kiwanis Club of Atlanta. She sits on the board of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Murphey Candler Little League Auxiliary. Ali resides in Dunwoody with her husband and three sons.
Donor Data and Portal Manager
Evan Greene is responsible for implementing and managing the Foundation’s fundraising database, and for designing and rolling out the associated protocols, analytical reports and dashboards that support the Foundation’s mission and strategic plan. Prior to joining the Foundation, Evan was at The Rockefeller University in New York City. He has consulted for the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation in Atlanta and was the Managing Director of a nonprofit theatre company in New York City. A native of Boston, Evan resides in Brookhaven with his wife and two cats and does his best to keep his Boston sports allegiances to himself.
Director of Philanthropy and Stewardship
Audrey Jacobs is co-lead of the Current Donor Team, providing a world-class experience to the Foundation’s philanthropists. Audrey leads the Foundation’s donor services and engagement strategies resulting in deep, sustained relationships with donors and their families to make the Community Foundation the donors’ primary philanthropic partner. Audrey is a member of Emory University’s Board of Visitors, the National Center for Family Philanthropy’s Community Foundations Advisory Committee and the Program Committee of the Southeastern Council on Foundations’ Annual Meeting. Audrey holds a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and a juris doctor from New York University School of Law.
Barrett Coker Krise
Senior Philanthropic Advisor
Barrett Coker Krise works with individuals and families to reach their philanthropic giving goals. Prior to joining the Foundation, Barrett worked with Fernbank Museum of Natural History and the Atlanta Opera. Barrett is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and an alumna of the LEAD Class of 2008, a program of Leadership Atlanta. Barrett is a CAP® Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy. She received her B.A. from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. A fourth-generation native of Atlanta, Barrett lives in the historic neighborhood of Cabbagetown with her husband, Eddie and daughter Vivian.
Staci Lynch manages a robust portfolio of donor-advised funds. Before joining the Foundation, Staci was with Fulton County Schools and the Ron Clark Academy. She serves on the advisory board for the Wilbur and Hilda Glenn Institute for Philanthropy and Service Learning at the Westminster Schools. And most recently, she joined the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Speech School. Staci is a German Marshall Memorial Fellow and a graduate of LEAD Atlanta. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Columbia University.
Major Gifts Officer
James “Jamie” Tobias serves as a primary fundraiser securing gifts that enhance the institution’s ability to achieve its goals and accomplish its mission. Jamie previously served as a Director of Major Gifts at Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, as the Assistant Director of Development and Communications for L’Arche USA and at Emory University, serving in a variety development positions including Associate Director of Annual Giving. A native of South Carolina, he received his degree from Clemson University in 2000 and received his CFRE in 2015. Currently, he serves as the President-Elect of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Kathleen Varner Wagner
Kathleen Varner Wagner manages a portfolio of donor-advised funds, helping individuals and families develop their personal philanthropy and community involvement. Kathleen has over six years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and she is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) who brings her social work expertise to inform the impactful grantmaking at the Foundation. She received her B.A. from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and her M.S.W. at Hunter College in Manhattan, New York. She is a native Atlantan who grew up in Brookhaven and now lives with her husband, David, in Candler Park.
Development Resource and Research Manager
Wanda Wallace is responsible for all aspects of the gift processing system and donor prospect management. In addition, Wanda is responsible for donor prospect management from identification to solicitation. Originally from Virginia, Wanda moved to Atlanta to attend DeVry University. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and has a passion for youth leadership. A former Girl Scout leader, she serves on multiple auxiliaries through her church and is committed to giving back to the community.